Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 94 / MARCH 1988 / PAGE 64

Cursor Plus

Emmanuel Gendrano and Greg Knauss

Add even more power to the Atari 400, 800, XL, and XE editor device. Compatible with most environments and programs.

Atari computers have the most powerful screen editing features of any eight-bit computer. "Cursor Plus" extends the editor even further, adding functions to move the cursor by one word, change the case of an entire screen line, delete the remainder of the line, and more. Cursor Plus is compatible with most programs that use the E: editor device. This includes Atari BASIC, BASIC XL, MAC/65, and other environments. It does not include programs that use their own editors, such as Action!, Atariwriter, and Atari's MEDIT editor.

Typing It In

Cursor Plus works on all Atari eight-bit computers. Type it in and save it to tape or disk. The program is written in BASIC, but it creates a machine language program when it is run.

After saving the program, type RUN. You'll be asked if you want to save a copy or install it in memory. If you have a disk system, you must choose the option to save a copy. The program asks for a filename with which to save Cursor Plus. Be sure to use a name that's different from the one you used to save the creator program. After the machine language program has been written to disk, you can install Cursor Plus by going to DOS and using the L option to load it. Alternatively, you can name the file AUTORUN.SYS, causing the program to install automatically whenever you boot up the computer.

If you have a tape system, choose the memory option.

The New Editor

When you're using Cursor Plus, all of the regular cursor movement and editing capabilities are still in effect. In addition, Cursor Plus adds the following controls:

  • Control-ESC Go to the end of the line. This command moves the cursor to the end of the physical screen line (not the logical line).
  • Control-Shift-RETURN Go to the beginning of the line. This command moves the cursor to the beginning of the physical screen line. It does not enter the line, as a regular RETURN would.
  • Control-Shift-(minus sign) Go to previous word. This command moves the cursor to the word immediately to the left of the current cursor position.
  • Control-Shift-(equals sign) Go to next word. This command moves the cursor to the word immediately to the right of the current cursor.
  • Control-Shift-SPACE Delete to end of physical line. This command deletes everything after the current cursor position to the end of the line.
  • Control-Shift-Caps Change case of the rest of the physical line. This command begins at the current cursor position and changes all lowercase letters to uppercase and all uppercase letters to lowercase. Single words can be changed by cursoring to the beginning of the word, changing the case of the rest of the line, cursoring to the next word, and changing the case again.
  • Control-Shift-Inverse Change regular text to inverted text and inverted text to regular text. This command is similar in operation to the change case command. It begins at the current cursor position and changes the high bit of all of the text to the end of the physical line, thus, changing inverted letters (blue on white) to normal letters (white on blue), and back.
  • Shift-Inverse Change case of one letter. This command is similar to Control-Shift-Caps, except that it changes the case of only one character. This keypress also advances the cursor by one character, so you can repeatedly press Shift-Inverse to change the case of a range of characters.
  • Control-Inverse Change one character from normal text to inverted text, or back. This command is similar to Control-Shift-Inverse, but it changes the high bit of only one character. Like Shift-Inverse, it advances the cursor, making it easy to change a range of characters.
  • Control-Clear Move cursor to the home position (top left of screen). This command normally clears the screen. In Cursor Plus, however, it simply moves the cursor to home without clearing the screen. Use Shift-Clear to clear the screen.
  • Control-Shift-Clear This command places the cursor in the middle of the screen.

Cursor Plus survives SYSTEM RESET. Disable it by turning off the computer. This is the only way to recover the memory used by the program.